11-01-2021 | Empirical Research
Bullying Perpetration, Victimization, and Low Self-esteem: Examining Their Relationship Over Time
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Youth and Adolescence | Uitgave 4/2021Log in om toegang te krijgen
Bullying experiences in adolescents could cause maladjusted developments like low self-esteem, which in turn could increase the likelihood of having bullying experiences. Examining these longitudinal reciprocal relationships by considering the co-occurrence of bullying experience is critical, but under-examined. The current study clarifies the longitudinal reciprocal relationship between adolescents’ bullying perpetration, victimization, and low self-esteem. An autoregressive cross-lagged model was analyzed with data collected from 3658 Korean secondary students (47.2% were females, Mean age = 12.07, standard deviation = 0.27, range = 11–14) from the Seoul Education Longitudinal study in three waves (seventh to ninth grades). After controlling prior bullying perpetration, victimization, and low self-esteem, low self-esteem positively predicted subsequent victimization, and victimization also positively predicted subsequent low self-esteem longitudinally. However, low self-esteem failed to predict subsequent bullying perpetration, which in turn, failed to predict subsequent low self-esteem. After the prior bullying experiences and low self-esteem are controlled, their longitudinal association becomes clearly distinct. Victims of bullying may fall into a vicious circle, where after being victimized, they themselves feel unlovable or incompetent, and their increased low self-esteem is linked to subsequent victimization. To break out of this vicious circle and temporal stability of victimization, interventions focusing on victims’ self-esteem would be effective.